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Jeevan Arumugam. Source: The Straits Times

Accomplice of ex-RSAF engineer in cheating conspiracy jailed for 14 months

A man was sentenced to 14 months of jail yesterday (17 Sep) for assisting his longtime friend, who is formerly an engineer with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), in cheating the Government of more than S$632,000.

Jeevan Arumugam, 48, testified before District Judge Shaifuddin Saruwan that his actions resulted from "a pure lapse of judgement," and that Rajkumar Padmanathan had "exploited his weakness".

Jeevan was undergoing financial troubles when Rajkumar proposed that the two of them start a company together in 2010, which was later incorporated as Eagle Flight Aviation Services in January the following year.

Jeevan was registered as the sole director and shareholder of Eagle Flight Aviation Services. Rajkumar, who was Bay-In-Charge at Fire Control Flight in Tengah Air Base, provided technical assistance to Jeevan.

Part of Rajkumar's assistance involved exploiting his knowledge of the RSAF's tender process to give Jeevan contacts to suppliers and preparing quotations for repair and maintenance works.

As Rajkumar's job scope covered making recommendations of contractors to RSAF based on their quotation submissions, he made recommendations for Eagle Flight Aviation Services, and as a result, the RSAF awarded the company 67 tenders totalling over S$632,000 in total. However, Rajkumar concealed his own interest in the company in his recommendations.

Jeevan would then withdraw the money that was disbursed to the company and would give Rajkumar a portion of the payment. Neither of them has made any restitution to the Ministry of Defence for the money that was disbursed.

Previously in August, Jeevan pleaded guilty to five counts of cheating involving S$48,450, while Rajkumar was sentenced to two years and two and a half months' jail the month before after pleading guilty to 19 counts of cheating, eight charges under the Official Secrets Act, and one charge for corruption.

In May, Rajkumar was convicted for cheating the Government of over S$1.8mil through multiple scams.